SCAM ALERT Long Term Health Care

HICAP, the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program, provides objective information on Medicare and other health care issues to seniors. Many times HICAP counselors come across "scams" that consumers need to be aware of when buying additional insurance coverage.

A 67 year old woman who lives in Palm Springs called HICAP because she was uneasy about her recent purchase of long-term care insurance. She had made a hasty decision because her birthday was coming up in the next few days and she had been told there would be a big jump in rates when she turned 68.

The reason for her concern was that she had not been given a receipt or copy of the plan she had just purchased. She had just handed the insurance agent two checks: a deposit for one month ($126) and one for the balance of the year’s cost ($1,048.32). In the mean time, the agent was checking to see if her application was acceptable to the company. She had been told that her husband, who suffered from various disabilities and required a lot of personal care and supervision, was not insurable!

She had purchased a "home care only" policy which she would undoubtedly be unable to use if she met the conditions triggering the benefits. The agent had filled out her application himself. The client had no outline of coverage and no receipt for her payment. The entire transaction appeared to the counselor as a fraudulent, inappropriate sale.

After more discussion, the counselor told the client, that she (the client) could call the bank and stop payment on the checks if she wanted to stop the sale. The counselor also gave the caller the phone number, location of a HICAP counseling site near her home for additional information on long-term care insurance.

HICAP counselors are available throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties to help you make good health care decisions. These counselors are volunteers from your community. All services are free.

For more a counselor near you:

Call  HICAP at (951) 697-6560 or (800) 434-0222

Or visit the HICAP website

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